Arsène Wenger

From Wikiquote
Jump to navigation Jump to search
My job is to give people who work hard all week something to enjoy on Saturdays and Wednesdays.

Arsène Wenger OBE (born October 22, 1949, in Strasbourg) is a French football manager.


  • Everyone thinks they have the prettiest wife at home.
    • In response to Sir Alex Ferguson's jibe that his team weren't deserving league and cup champions — "They are scrappers who rely on belligerence - we are the better team", (May 2002) [1]
  • What would I do if Alex wasn't around? I would have no one to keep me on my toes or to fight. So of course I am pleased he changed his mind. I enjoy our rivalry. It is good for Arsenal, good for Manchester United and good for both of us.
    • In response to Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement u-turn, (February 2002) [2]
  • I'm ready to take the blame for all the problems of English football if that is what he wants.
    • Interview in reaction to comments made by Sir Alex Ferguson who highlighted the lack of homegrown players at Arsenal, (November 2007) [3]
  • He's out of order, disconnected with reality and disrespectful. When you give success to stupid people, it makes them more stupid sometimes and not more intelligent.
  • Any man who concentrates his energies totally on one passion is, by definition, someone who hurts the people close to him.
    • On Sir Alex Ferguson, (February 2007) [5]
  • No matter how much money you earn, you can only eat three meals a day and sleep in one bed.
  • As a non-Arsenal player I would say Ryan Giggs is my Premier League player of the decade because he has combined style with winning. Also I feel sorry he could never attend the World Cup, somewhere where people get a lot of compliments when they do well.
  • He's like a PlayStation. I think he can take advantage of every mistake you make. Barcelona are a very good side but of course they have Messi who can make the difference at any moment in the game. He is very young but he can achieve a lot. There are not many players who can score four goals like he did. He has six or seven great years ahead of him and he can become unbelievable.
  • Everybody has a different opinion in this league and nobody is a prophet. I personally don’t know who will win the league. I managed 1,600 games so, if Nani knows, he must be 1,600 times more intelligent than I am.
  • You ask me: 'Was he a fair player?' I say: 'No, I'm sorry, for me he was not a fair player.' I just think I respect him highly as a quality player. I did not like some things he did on the football pitch and I have the right to say that. It's not because you are older, suddenly, that you are a saint.
  • We were considering him (Ruud van Nistelrooy) and Francis Jeffers and, in the end, we went for Jeffers.
  • It's like you wanting to marry Miss World and she doesn't want you, what can I do about it? I can try to help you, but if she does not want to marry you what can I do?
  • Despite the global warming, England is still not warm enough for him.
    • José Antonio Reyes, (July 2007) [13]
  • This guy should never play football again. What is he doing on the football pitch? I've gone along with the idea for a long time that to stop Arsenal, you have to kick Arsenal. I knew that was coming for a long time now.
  • Spare me the articles about how nice Shawcross is because that was a horrendous tackle. People say we don’t fancy the physical side of it, but this is the result. If you see a player getting injured like that, it’s not acceptable.

Arsenal (1996–present)

  • Nobody will finish above us in the league. It wouldn't surprise me if we were to go unbeaten for the whole of the season.
    • Before the 2002-03 season commenced, (2002)
  • I am still hopeful we can go through the season unbeaten - a frightening thought.
    • On his team's performances (2002)
  • We do not buy superstars. We make them.
  • The background looks like a lot of red cards.
    • On Arsenal's redesigned club crest. (2002)
  • When you're dealing with someone who only has a pair of underpants on, if you take his underpants off, he has nothing left - he's naked. You're better off trying to find him a pair of trousers to complement him rather than change him.
    • Detailing his philosophy, (2007)
  • If I give you a good wine, you will see how it tastes and after you ask where it comes from.
  • Gérard [Houllier's] thoughts on the matter echo mine. He thinks that what the national coaches are doing is like taking the car from his garage without even asking permission. They will then use the car for ten days and abandon it in a field without any petrol left in the tank. We then have to recover it, but it is broken down. Then a month later they will come to take your car again, and for good measure you're expected to be nice about it.
  • If I go into a season and I say, ‘For fuck’s sake, if we don’t win anything, they will all leave,’ I have already lost. The problem of the media is always to imagine the worst. The problem of the manager is always to imagine the best.
  • What is unbelievable is that I am in a position where people reproach me for making a profit. The people who lose money – nobody says a word. Reproach the people who lose money. I do business by managing in a safe way in a healthy way and on top of that you reproach me for making money. It looks like we are in a business where the quality is to lose money.
  • In my job, you expect to suffer. That's why when I go to hell one day, it will be less painful for me than you, because I'm used to suffering.
  • Going back in time, looking back is just as scary. […] there’s not as much to come as what has already been lived… The only way to fight time is to not look back too much. If you do, it can make you feel anxious and guilty.
    • On His Anxiety and his relationship with time, (2015)

Quotations from the Public Comments of Arsene Wenger: Manager, Arsenal Football Club (2005)

ISBN 0753539071
  • In England, football is important for everybody.
    • 22 November 1996
  • When I first came to Arsenal, I realised the back four were all university graduates in the art of defending. As for Tony Adams, I consider him to be a doctor of defence. He is simply outstanding.
    • On Arsenal's famous back four, (1997)
  • Fair play is an English word. It is not a French word, and it has been copied all over the world. Unfortunately, it does not function any more here.
    • 19 April 1997
  • Of the nine red cards this season we probably deserved half of them.
    • 7 April 1999
  • When you are a player, you think, 'Me! Me! Me!' When you are a manager, you think 'You! You! You!'
    • 8 February 2002
  • My job is to give people who work hard all week something to enjoy on Saturdays and Wednesdays.
    • 6 February 2004

Joint Interview with The Times and Daily Mail (2009)

Arsene Wenger interview: the full transcript of Matthew Syed's interview (14-08-2009)
  • Politically, I am for efficiency. Economically first. Until the 1980s the world was divided into two, people were either communist or capitalist. The communist model does not work economically, we all realised that, but the capitalist model in the modern world also looks to be unsustainable. You cannot ignore individual interests, but I believe the world evolves slowly. The last 30 years have brought a minimum amount of money for everybody in the west, the next step, politically, would be a maximum amount of money earned by everybody.
  • I want to go to the end of my job here. I built this team, I want to deliver with this team and I feel if I left I would have in some way betrayed my own beliefs. It is as simple as that. It was nothing to do with what Real Madrid has done. It was about Arsenal. I have a project here that I started three or four years ago and I want to reach the end of it. I could not leave this team at this stage of their development.
  • OK, I’m not against that [spending £100m]. If you have the money and you find the one player who can make you win and make the difference, no matter how expensive he is you should do it. But there are not many players in the world who will make a real difference.
  • At the end of the day, I ask you: who is the most successful team in the world? Brazil. What do they play? Good football. Who won everything last year? Barcelona. What do they play? Lovely football. I am not against being pragmatic because to be pragmatic is to make a good pass, not a bad pass. It is as simple as that. When I see Barcelona, to me it is art.


  • I told you last week that the race was not over when the bookmakers stopped betting. Surprise, surprise, they have started taking money again.
  • If you eat caviar every day it's difficult to return to sausages.
  • We wanted tonight to be a shift of power, and to take the trophy back to Highbury.
  • I was surprised by the resources they find. They are amazing. It doesn't get any worse than losing a Champions League game the way we did, but I felt the way they responded was absolutely magnificent.
  • We've been remarkably consistent, haven't lost a game and we have played stylish football. We have entertained people who just love football.
  • It's like a child who is used to having ice cream whenever he wants. When it doesn't come when he asks he tends to get confused and nervous.
  • The speed at which we moved the ball in small spaces and our quality was superb. We played the ball through needles and it was very difficult for Aston Villa.
  • The penalty decision was Old Traffordish.
  • You ask 100 people, 99 will say it's very bad and the 100th will be Mark Hughes.
  • I liked the pitch, I liked the referee, I did not like Paul Scholes' tackles.
  • I feel Bolton played a cup game today, they were one week late.
  • You forget what you wrote last September, October, November. You have a little bit of Alzheimer's.
  • If happiness is liking the life one lives, I can say I have been happy, and still am.
    • Times interview, 2/10/20[1]


  • They [Chelsea] are a financially doped club. They have enhancement of performances through financial resources which are unlimited. It puts pressure on the market that is not very healthy. They can go to Steven Gerrard or Rio Ferdinand and say ‘how much do you earn? We’ll give you twice as much’. I don’t know if there is anything we can do to stop it.
    • The phrase 'financial doping', first used by Wenger in a press conference on the eve of the 125th FA Cup final. (21 May 2005) [16]
  • For managers such big scores don’t have any meaning, whether you win 5-0 or you lose 5-0. You’re elated (with such a victory) but ‘footballistically’ it does not show the real difference between teams.
    • The word 'footballistically' (8 May 2002) [17]


  • We need a player who will be a fox in the box and on the pitch. We need a player like Owen is for Liverpool.

Quotes about Wenger

  • Over the years we enjoyed some fantastic battles and you could say we had survived together and respected each other's efforts to play good football. I always enjoy watching Arsène's sides - Arsenal play the right way. Playing against them always presented special challenges that I burned many hours over the years thinking about. He has always been a conscientious member of our trade who makes it his business to help other managers. Perhaps the biggest compliment I could give Arsène is that I could never be anything other than competitive with my rival for 17 years.
  • Arsène has undoubtedly been one of the biggest influences on the modern-day Premiership. His 10 years at Arsenal have flown by, and there haven't been too many bad times. It was an absolute pleasure to play under him and I'm sure the players who are currently in the squad would agree.
  • Arsène made Arsenal what they are today, and the fans understand it perfectly. If he was to leave tomorrow, he would do it with his head up, not by the back door.
  • I think he is one of these people who is a voyeur. He likes to watch other people. There are some guys who, when they are at home, they have a big telescope to see what happens in other families. He speaks and speaks and speaks about Chelsea.
  • Arsène's shadow has cast a gloom all the way up Seven Sisters Road [which leads to Tottenham] for quite a while now. I and the vast majority of Arsenal fans have an enormous amount of faith in Wenger.
  • I rate Wenger – he's a very polite, well-mannered man, not forceful, though but sometimes you have to be a bit of a ruthless bastard.
  • Arsène Wenger is the best manager Arsenal have ever had, and one of the top three or four in top-flight British football history (along with Shankly, Clough and Ferguson).
  • When I think of Arsène Wenger, I think of Warren Buffett. Wenger runs his football club like he is going to own the club for 100 years.
  • I think the job he has done at Arsenal makes him without question their most successful manager, even above people like [Herbert] Chapman.
  • There was a debate about Wenger on Sky and how crazy is that? People are actually getting interviewed saying he shouldn't be doing this. What that man's done for English football is amazing and will be remembered in 25, 50, 100 years' time. Will those on telly yesterday be remembered for what they've achieved? None whatsoever.
Wikipedia has an article about: